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Fox packs summer

Fox to preem 2 series, new episodes of 'Guy'

Fox will premiere two series, double-pump “Titus” and bow original episodes of laffer “Family Guy” as part of a new summer schedule set to unroll in July.

The sked is highlighted by the original hybrid drama/reality skein “Murder in Smalltown X” and the long-delayed premiere of the horror anthology “Night Visions.” A second reality series, “Love Cruise,” is also expected to bow this summer or early September.

Fox plans to launch its new lineup over two weeks starting July 11, with a revised Wednesday sked bowing a day after the net’s broadcast of baseball’s All-Star Game. Night will be anchored at 8 p.m. by the “Fox Family Comedy Wheel,” the umbrella title for a series of rotating comedy repeats slated to continue through the fall. “Grounded for Life” remains at 8:30.

At 9, “Titus” slides into its new fall timeslot; show will continue to air in its current 8:30 Tuesday slot throughout the summer. New segs of “Family Guy” will air Wednesdays at 9:30 before the series moves into its regular 8 p.m. Thursday slot in the fall.

Fox may also double-pump “Grounded” at 9:30 p.m. several weeks during the summer.

Sked to build foundation

Net is hoping the new sked will give both “Titus” and “Grounded” some added exposure headed into the fall. Fox also wants to build awareness for “Family Guy” prior to the toon laffer’s shift to Thursdays.

On Thursdays, Fox will finally take the wraps off “Night Visions,” the Warner Bros. Television skein originally announced as a fall 2000 series. Skein will have a two-hour premiere July 12 before settling into its regular 9 p.m. Thursday slot.

“Guinness World Records: Primetime” will air Thursdays at 8 p.m. starting July 19.

The long-in-the-works “Murder in Smalltown X,” a cross between “The Real World” and “Twin Peaks,” is set to anchor Fox’s summer Tuesday lineup (Daily Variety, Feb. 22). Show will have a 90-minute premiere at 8:30 p.m. July 17, following a “Simpsons” repeat.

“Smalltown X” then moves to 9 p.m. July 24, with “That ’70s Show” remaining at 8, followed by “Titus.”

Drama and reality

Created by George Verschoor, “Smalltown X” skirts the line between reality and drama by featuring 10 real-people players inserted into a manufactured town filled with improv actors. Players will hunt for clues as they seek to identify a “murderer”; the number of contestants will dwindle each week as players are “killed” off.

Fox has ordered eight episodes of “Smalltown X,” which means the skein will likely wrap in early September. Net may then choose to bow “Love Cruise” in the 9 p.m. slot, warming up the hour until new drama “24” bows later in the fall.

Fox’s revamped Friday kicks off July 20, with “Police Videos” at 8 and “Dark Angel” moving to the night, airing at 9. “Dark Angel” could air at 8 certain weeks, prepping viewers for the show’s permanent move to the slot this fall. Fox may air episodes of “The X-Files” some Fridays this summer as well.

Other original programming on tap for Fox this summer includes a summer concert dubbed “Teenapalooza” (June 20), the “Teen Choice Awards” (Aug. 20) and the original telepics “Black River” (July 6) and “WWIII” (July 13).